THORNBURY were unable to match league leaders Royal Wootton Bassett as the visitors recorded a comprehensive bonus-point victory on Saturday. 

Despite enjoying a strong start to the season, Thornbury were always going to be up against it at the weekend when the league leaders, who had taken 25 points from a possible 25 prior to their trip, arrived in town. 

And it was Bassett who maintained their perfect start to the 2023/24 Regional 2 Tribute Severn campaign to make it 30 points from a possible 30 with a sixth bonus-point win in a row. 

Thornbury kicked off and with barely a minute gone, Bassett attacked with purpose and pace from a scrum just outside their ‘22’ and eventually scored the opening try following a lineout drive.

Shortly after the restart, Thornbury attacked for the first time and found the visitors’ defence well-marshalled and difficult to penetrate.

But Thorns managed to get themselves back in the game when capitalising on a loose ball and Mike Priday scooped up on halfway and sprinted in to score Thornbury’s first try. Jake Wood converted for a 7-5 lead.

This gave Thorns some inspiration for the next ten minutes and Wood’s penalty kick extended the lead to 10-5.

But the lead was overturned three minutes later when a chip over the Thornbury defence wasn’t covered and the visiting fullback scored a converted try. Bassett then scored again at the end of the half to lead 19-10 at the break.

Having started the first half at top-speed, the visitors began the second in a similar style.

Thornbury’s defence was excellent but they were unable to clear their lines and after twelve minutes of tackling, it finally cracked and Bassett scored the bonus point try.

The hosts needed the next score but despite their best efforts in attack, the league leaders were able to turn the ball over and eventually score a fifth try from a lineout to extend the lead.

After the restart, Thornbury attacked again and Will Beese made a fine break. A few minutes later, Ben Wood broke clear, linked with Luke Panting and Jake Wood charged for the line only to be hauled down a metre short.

But the ball was quickly recycled and Mike Johnson scored out wide. The conversion was missed but trailing 29-15, Thorns could salvage something from the game with another score.

However, in the dying minutes, Bassett turned the screw and after pressure on the Thornbury line a sixth try was conceded and the conversion heralded the final whistle at 36-15.